We decided to visit the Champagne Region in September hoping that we might catch the harvest time and to our luck, in the area we were visiting, the harvest started this past Saturday, September 28th. That is two weeks later than usual due to the very long winter we had this past year.
Manual picking remains the tradition in Champagne, the requirement for whole, undamaged grapes is the same today as it was in the 18th Century. In total, at the peak of the harvest, around 120,000 seasonal workers will hand-pick grapes from Champagne's 34,000 hectares of vines.
For me, this time of the year is the best for visiting the Champagne Region. The weather is still warm and you get to see and make the connection between the labor, heart and soul that is put into making some of the best bubblies in the world. Any other time of the year just would not be the same.